5 Reasons Your Job Ads Aren’t Pulling in Top Talent

In the fast-paced world of recruitment, it can be tempting to rush your job adverts out as quickly as possible so you can reach candidates before your competitors do. But in reality, this is the kind of behaviour that loses excellent candidate every single day.

Here are some of the things that prevent candidates from applying to your job ads.

1. Sloppy English


First thing's first, is your spelling and grammar is up toscratch?

You may have the perfect job hiding behind spelling mistakes, grammar issues and bad punctuation, but the candidate won't see that if your advert is horrible to read.

Any candidate worth their salt will immediately be put off by a poorly written job advert; it shows a lack of care and professionalism.

Would you apply to a vacancy which spelt the job title wrong? Thought not. Luckily, it’s very easily fixed. Even if you’re writing an advert to be published ASAP, get someone else to read it over first. Spellcheck is not fool-proof, and it’s amazing how absorbed a writer becomes in their own work – they often miss things which are glaringly obvious to someone else!

2. Vague Adverts

Another regular offender on the list is the age-old vague advert. This crime against candidates is all too common, and, while it may net you a large number of applicants, you’ll probably find that the majority of them are in no way suitable for the position you’re trying to fill. A basic example would be seeking an ‘experienced Manager’ who ‘works well with others’ instead of an ‘SEO Manager with 3 years’ experience’ who ‘can manage a diverse team effectively’. This leaves you open to a plethora of applications which may not meet the criteria you intend. Transparency is key, and being open about the list of requirements can save both you and potential candidates lots of time.

3. No Salary

Be honest, would you apply for a job without knowing how much you’d be paid? It may be the root of all evil, but money is a huge deciding factor for most of us when making career moves. It’s romantic to think that the perfect candidate would want to work for your client regardless of the salary, but in reality this is an essential piece of information. If the salary is dependent upon experience or can vary, say so. Applicants appreciate a rough indication of the wage much more than an unhelpful blank space.

World people (vlado via freedigitalphotos.net)4. No clear location

The South East is a big place. As is Scotland, or the North West. Try and be as specific as possible in your adverts – candidates need to know where they’ll be working. Like you and I, candidates will also have commitments and lives outside of work, so a commute from Aberdeen to Glasgow every day is, to say the least, likely to be impractical. Half your workload and weed out unsuitable applicants by being as precise as possible. If the job requires travel, or is based between offices, say so! It lets candidates know what they’re in for, and shows that their employer has considered exactly what the role will require.

5. Sensationalism

Everyone loves to big up their client’s company, and rightly so. If the business is a great place to work, this should definitely come across in your advert, but how much is too much? Unfortunately, there’s a fine line between making a vacancy sound like a dream come true, and something which is too good to be true. You may think that the vacancy is indeed fabulous and the benefits are the best in the industry, but it is always preferable to show, not tell.

A candidate is likely to be aware of the typical standards in the kind of role they’re seeking, so they’ll know a great deal when they see one. Let your enthusiasm come through in more ways than zealous adjectives – allow the personality of the brand to come through. What are the benefits of working there? It might be the relaxed working environment, the great mix of people, or maybe it’s the thrill of having new challenges every month. Injecting a bit of personality in the text is more likely to bring you someone who fits into the desired working dynamic and holds the same values as the employer, but keep sensationalism to a minimum and, of course, avoid false promises at all costs.

These five tips may seem obvious, but they are the difference between netting the top talent and being landed with a pile of unsuitable CVs. Happy writing!

business man holding job ad templates

Credit: Images from Stuart Miles and Vlado via freedigitalphotos.net

Gianna Legate

Gianna is a graduate of English who combines her passion for the written word with a vested interest in technology and interactive media.

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